Mercury Transit Left Astronomers in Awe

Recently in Honolulu, Hawaii, people got the chance to experience something unique, alongside the rest of the world. A rare celestial appearance happened Monday morning. Mercury crossed the Sun and the Earth for up to five hours, leaving people in awe. The event began shortly after 2:30 am, and the ones with observant eyes and advanced telescopes could make out the “Mercury Transit.” NASA explains how rare this event is, stating that it only happens 13 times a century. Olivier Guyon, Subaru Telescope astronomer, gave further details about the importance of the event. He said, “It doesn’t move exactly in the same plane. That’s why transits don’t happen often. Most of time, when its roughly aligned with us, it’s above or below the sun.”

The captured photos display a small black point toward the end of the Sun, and right there is Mercury. On Hawaii Island, astronomers and people who love astronomy went to the Keck and Subaru telescopes for a gazing event. Mercury Transit won’t appear for another 30 years, or until 2032.

Get to Understand the Mercury Transit

A transit of Mercury across the Sun occurs when Mercury crosses straightforward, or transits, between the Sun and a larger planet. It will become noticeable against the solar disk. While it realizes this transit, Mercury can be seen as a small point moving across the disk of the Sun. A transit of Mercury has more chances to happen to Earth than the transits of Venus, appearing 13 or 14 times per century. Such a fact is possible because Mercury is closer to the Sun and orbits it faster. The events are usually happening in May or November, and it lasts up to 5 or 6 hours. On June 3, 2014, the Mars rover Curiosity noticed Mercury transiting the Sun, event which marked the first time ever, and a planetary transit had been seen from a celestial body besides Earth.

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